Professor Lainie Pomerleau
18 September 2013
The Rhetoric of Community Service
Surprisingly enough, community service experience has become an issue associated with the collegiate admissions process. Because college acceptance has become another area of life in which there is a high rate of competition, actively participating in community service is essential in order for prospective students to appear to be worthy applicants. The article, "Closing of Homeless Shelter Leaves College-Application-Padding Students with Nowhere to Turn," in The Onion, draws awareness to the less than sincere motives behind high school-aged volunteers. In contrast, the article, "Community Service and College Admissions: Does It Matter?" in the Examiner, places emphasis on the importance of having community service experience on one's resume. These two texts address the same subject matter, but they approach the issue uniquely due to the use of different literary styles that correlate with the tone of the messages. The comic article expresses its point through a harsher voice, but leaves the reader impacted by the truth behind it. On the other hand, the non-comic article, addressing the significance of volunteer work when applying to college, proves to be equally rhetorically effective, due to its relevant provision of facts and explanatory nature, as the comic text. . If the non-comic and comic articles could speak to each other, they would exhibit characteristics of a common goal. Although the piece in the Examiner explains the significance of an abundant service life for the college application, it also subtly provides the reader with organizations that serve the less fortunate for the right reasons.
One major significant dissimilarity between these two articles is the tone. The target audience not only determines the appeals used by the authors in each of the individual texts, but it influences the language and the tone as well. Looking...